German Tourist
Pretending to speak a language you don’t know

A man decided to visit his brother who was stationed in Germany. He assumed that most Germans would speak English. But found that many people spoke only their native tongue - including the ticket inspector on the train.

He punched the mans ticket, then chatted cordially for a bit, making gestures like a windmill. The man simply nodded from time to time to show him that he was interested. When the ticket inspector had gone, an American woman in the compartment leaned forward and asked if he spoke German.

“No,” he confessed.

“Then that explains,” she said, “why you didn’t bat an eyelid when he told you that you were on the wrong train.”

see also   Language  &  Train   Sections



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